Light Sermon Illustrations

Light Sermon Illustrations

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Samuel Hebich was a missionary whose labors were greatly blessed in India. Realizing the great need of the 'white heathen', as he termed them, he spent much time visiting the garrisons, and many British officers and soldiers were led to the Lord through his ministry.

After a few sultry days in Madras, one day an officer, during the hottest hours, was lying in his room lazily smoking a cigarette, dreamingly listening to the slow creaking of the punkah above his head. A step sounded on the verandah and grew more and more distinct as the owner drew near with an even firm tread. Then in walked Mr. Hebich, a tall, strange-looking man, with a long, loose black coat and a huge umbrella.

The officer felt embarrassed, even in his own rooms, but Mr. Hebich, who seemed quite at home, advanced into the room, saying, `Goot day!' and politely motioned the officer to a seat. After a short silence he said, 'Get down de Book.' His hearer knew at once which Book was meant, and fetched the Bible which he never read himself, though he possessed a copy. 'Open de fierst shapter of Shenesis and read,' said Hebich. The officer obeyed and read: 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.' Dat will do! Shut de Book. Let us pray!' said Hebich. So they knelt down and Hebich prayed. After this, his strange visitor bowed and said farewell, shaking hands very solemnly before leaving.

The following day the officer was lounging in his large arm-chair, unoccupied as on the previous day, but feeling a turmoil within. Once again there was a sound of footsteps and Hebich appeared. Again—`Get down the Book'; and again 'Open de fierst shapter de book of Shenesis and read.' Again the officer read, and continued on with 'And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.' Dat vill do,' said Hebich. 'Let us pray.' This time the officer listened to the prayer—such a prayer as he had never heard before. Hebich talked as to an intimate friend, telling God his Father about the young officer, and imploring Him to reveal to him his need that he might find salvation and flee to the open arms of the Redeemer. Again he took leave as on the previous day.

If ever a man was humbled, convinced that he was a sinner, and realized his need of a Savior, that officer did. How he spent the time till the next day he did not know. The next day at the same hour he heard the footsteps again. His Bible lay open before him. He rose to meet Hebich and took his hand. `Oh, Mr. Hebich,' he said, 'it is all plain to me now. What must I do?'

Looking at him with true love, Hebich said, `And God said, let there be light, and there was light.' Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' They knelt together, the light shone into the officer's heart, and he prayed from the heart, without a book, for the first time in his life.

The British officer who was thus saved in Madras was the grandfather of Lieut.-General Sir William Dobbie, whom we honor today as a great general and the valiant defender of Malta during the second World War. Captain G. S. Dobbie, of the Africa Evangelistic Band, another grandson, was also engaged wholly in the work of the Lord.

(Gen. 1. 1-3; Ps. 119. 130)


The restless millions wait the Light
Whose dawning maketh all things new.
Christ also waits, but men are slow and few.
Have we done all we could? Have I? Have you?

(2 Cor. 4. 3-6)


At the 1938 Empire Exhibition held in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, Scotland, many groups of Christian assemblies combined to make the Gospel known to the large numbers of visitors to the Exhibition. One of the spheres of witness was a Kiosk in Royal Mile Avenue where Bibles, New Testaments and portions of Scripture were displayed for sale, and many were sold. Millions of tracts were also distributed free, and not a few visited the evangelist in charge for conversations on spiritual matters. Numbers thus came into the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

In the large window of the kiosk was an open Bible, open at John, Chapter 8, with the words of the Lord Jesus, 'I am the Light of the World', underlined in red ink, and a hand pointing to the verse. Underneath were printed the words: 'The only Way out of the Dark.'

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin:
The light of the world is Jesus.

(John 8. 12; 9. 5; 2 Cor. 4. 6)


`The Light of the World' is the title of a famous picture by Holman Hunt, the artist. It portrays the Lord Jesus Christ, thorn-crowned, and carrying a lantern in his left hand, knocking at a closed door.

It is said that the artist, after completing the picture, showed it to some friends who praised the merit of the painting. One of them pointed out what he considered an omission on the part of the artist. 'You have put no handle on the door,' he said to Holman Hunt, who replied immediately, 'You forget—the handle is on the inside.'

(John 1. 9; Rev. 3. 20)


A tender child of summers three,
Seeking her little bed at night,
Paused on the dark stair timidly,
'Oh Mother! take my hand,' said she,
`And then the dark will all be light.'

We older children grope our way,
From dark behind to dark before:
And only when our hands we lay,
Dear Lord, in Thine, the night is day,
And there is darkness nevermore.

Reach downward to the sunless days,
Wherein our guides are blind as we,
And faith is small and hope delays:
Take Thou the hands of prayer we raise,
And let us feel the light of Thee.—John Greenleaf Whittier

(Eph. 5. 8)

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